The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Google's Zeitgeist

Every year Google publishes their fascinating, if normally terrifying, Zeitgeist. I say terrifying because sadly idol worship is still the bane of our one God (Google) web existence. So is tragedy, it always trumps pleasure, joy, triumph, love, happiness, achievement and so forth.

Take the Top searches for 2005:

  • Janet Jackson

  • Hurricane Katrina

  • tsunami

  • xbox 360

  • Brad Pitt

  • Michael Jackson

  • American Idol

  • Britney Spears

  • Angelina Jolie

  • Harry Potter



The tsunami I can understand, people get their news and citizen journalism from the web and it was a life changing event, something important to the world. A similar story for Katrina with the added benefit of far more coverage (a thousand people died thanks to Katrina, over two hundred thousand died thanks to the tsunami. You do the accounting.)

But Janet, Brad, Michael, Britney, Angelina, Harry and American Idol? Do you spend your days searching for more information about the Jolie-Pitt tryst? Potter was fun no doubt but come now, it is not the high point of culture folks. Jackson we all just wanted to despise more, how progressive. As for Janet, well... well actually I have not a clue why she came up. Did she release another painful ditty or is she up for molestation too? And then there is the console that nobody loves but everyone hyped which has no games yet. I doubt Google.jp had xbox 360 anywhere in its rankings. No comment on American Idol.

One interesting blip is that more people were interested in the new pope than the death of the old pope.

Lastly it is good to see how mainstream the world wide web is. All the technology items are mass-consumer items, no Ruby on Rails or Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. This shows the common man, for better or worse, uses the web, not just us geeks.

Will 2006 be any different? No, just swap a few celebrity names around, throw in a couple of natural disasters and don't forget the Playstation 3 is coming out. Joy to the world.

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